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date: 15 November 2019

Barton, Thomas locked

  • Anne Beetem Acker

Extract

(bap. London, England, Jan 1, 1685; d London, England, by 1735). English spinet and harpsichord maker. His father, also Thomas, was a butcher. He was apprenticed to Stephen Keene from 1 Aug 1699 for seven years and his initials (TB) appear in a Keene spinet of 1705. Barton became a freeman of the Joiners’ Company in Aug 1706 and moved to the neighbouring parish of St Martin Outwich in 1708, the same year in which he became the master of John Ladyman, and in which his first son, also Thomas, was born. With Cawton Aston he made a bentside spinet dated 1709, indicating at least a brief partnership. Barton spinets seem normally to have had a continuously curved tail instead of the common mitred tail. Styles of keyboards (ebony naturals with either solid ivory or skunktail accidentals) vary. Based on surviving examples (e.g. spinet of 1730, US.W.si), Barton was apparently one of the first spinet makers, along with Hitchcock, to expand the compass to five octaves (...

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